Many students will soon take examinations. High achievers and last minute scholars will be tempted to study late into the night. Wise scholars know success begins with a good night’s sleep and now there’s research to prove it.
There are two types of sleep. One type is rapid eye movement sleep also known as REM or dream sleep. A second type is called non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. When you sleep at night, you will usually experience both types of sleep.
When you first fall asleep, you typically begin with Non Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) Sleep. NREM sleep is divided into three stages: N1, N2 and N3. N1, the first stage of sleep, is characterized by a gradual loss of muscle tone, heavy eyelids and slowing of brain activity. N1 sleep ushers in the more restful stage of sleep called N2.
N2 is considered the first true stage of sleep. You’ll spend half your time asleep in stage N2 which usually precedes the muchtreasured stage N3 or deep sleep. During deep sleep, you will often dream.
Research documents that REM sleep and deep sleep are crucial to learning. Deep sleep prepares the brain to learn. REM sleep consolidates memory. After just one sleepless night, mastering mental tasks becomes challenging.
Tips on how you can maximize sleep potential: Turn off all electronic devices 30 minutes before bedtime. Do something relaxing, for instance eat a light bedtime snack such as a cup of milk and a fig bar. Do not study in the bedroom: use it only for sleep. Keep the bedroom dark and slightly cool. If you wake up during the night, avoid turning on the lights or electronic devices. If you find returning to sleep difficult, practice the deep breathing exercises found on my blog: www.drhamiltonstubbs.com/blog Just remember to check out the website well before bedtime.
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